Aston Martin Test Driver Admits His Team's Surprise Over Progress In 2023 Season

F1
by Adam OndrikWednesday, 31 January 2024 at 15:00
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Aston Martin's test driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, suggested his team was quite surprised over the position they found themselves in at the beginning of the 2023 season.
Aston Martin finished the 2022 season in seventh place. However, the team was able to make significant progress throughout the winter break, and when the first race of the 2023 season came, the British team was the second fastest.
To put things into perspective, Williams finished seventh at the end of the last season. How surprised would we be to see Williams as the second fastest in 2024? Very surprised is the answer.
Aston Martin achieved something no one would expect. As Stoffel Vandoorne revealed, not even people inside the team anticipated being in the position to compete for podiums in every race in the first half of 2023. He told Vandoorne told Motorsport Week:

"Well, obviously, last year was a little bit of a surprise, I would say, in terms of how competitive we were at the start of the season, and then we obviously had this bit of a slump and then kind of got back towards the end of the year."

On the other hand, Aston Martin seemingly lost a lot of speed compared to its rivals towards the end of the season as they found themselves in a "much harsher" development race. Vandoorne added:

"There was a lot of learning being done during that period of time. But, yeah, to know exactly how competitive we’re going to be starting this year is very hard to know."

It seemed like Aston Martin fell too far behind to compete for the Championship in 2024. However, the team proved they could make big steps forward during winter last year, and so we have to wait to see where exactly the British team ranks at the start of the upcoming season.